Friday, March 03, 2006

Road Trip

i saw the milk truck, also known as "The Comet", this morning on my way to work.
so what you ask? aha, my good people, this is no ordinary "milk truck!".

the truck in question is one that will bring many a fond memeory to any Smackist older than the class of '96. if i'm not mistaken the College purchased a bus the year after i left, never mind that my classmates and i had been paying for it since our first year. that and the swimming pool. when my Uncle Stephen is in a good mood, ocassioned by a few pints down the chute and a pretty damsel within eyesight (not as pretty as Aunt Grace though), he'll regale us with tales of how they paid for the swimming pool when they were in in Kisubi. now that's something considering that Uncle Stephen, bless his heart, is like 70 years old. when i left, all we had to show for umpteen years of "contributions" to the pool construction fund was a big hole in the grounds behind the Brothers' Residence.

so until the College got a bus, the truck (Scania i think it is, at any rate something Scandinavian) was the sole means of locomotion. whether you were going to 'Gungas, 'Giza, 'Sunsas, wherever, in your blazer and tie to act all stuck up (shy) and snobbish (painfully shy) infront of the birds while those Fumblers (death to all of you!) acted all up in your face, or a wildlife club trip to Lake Mburo - heavy laden with cheap cigarettes, even cheaper alcohol and non-existent morals (man, village chicks are so ....accomodating) and the token camera for the Club's photographic records - afterall it was a study trip never mind that y'all undertook it in the week after exams before you went home, never understood that, y'all took the School Truck - the milk Truck - The Comet.

like any institution worth its weight in buns, there was a whole Code of Conduct with regard to travelling on the school truck. there was ritual ... method ... you had to earn the right to get on the truck see? this is kinda how it worked.

say we're in the Interact Club or YCS or whatever. you'd find out at the meeting this week that Saturday after next the club would be taking 30 members to a girls' school for the day. subjects to be discussed would include blah blah blah.... the long knives wwere slowly being unsheathed and the following M.O. would be speedily brought into play.

1. were u upto date with your club subscription dues? everyone was at one point a memeber of every club going, spreading ur eggs wisely, with the exception of the maths and chess clubs which we reserved for the likes of, well you know the type. if your subscription wasn't in order there were ways around that, mostly centred around the giving of material inducements to the treasurer and Secretary of the club. never mind that actually just paying ur subscription was a whole lot easier and cheaper too. and if the Club prez was your cousin's dorm-mate, then you were in business. so, that little pesky business taken care of, you moved on to step 2

2. very important this. do u know a female in the said host school? no, we dont mean the bird u were in P.6 with whose mum worked in UCB with urs, no we're refering to "d'u KNOW a bird who has some fly friends that we can all be friends with?" u do? sorted, u're on the list. after said fib to get yourself on the list, and not just on the list - u had to be among the first 15 people rite after the committee coz those were the ones who wouldn't be invited to stay behind if say there was another bunch of guys who needed to share the truck with y'all. if that happened, the invitations would start with No. 30 and work their way up. but i digress, after said fib that you were this club's Larry Flynt, fixer extraordinaire, u then proceeded to step 3.

3. simply put, establishing said relationship with said female. simple really, a child could do it. find some good writing paper, sit down with pen and said paper and write a letter to the said female in legible and intelligible English. if you need help do not be shy to ask. what? you cannot think up a single thing to write about? but u man, be as if serious! you could talk Mr. Kasinga out of marrying you to that slasher on account of ur untucked in shirt, mos def u can write a letter to a bird, she's just a bird dude, not the Prefects Council.

never mind that she'd probably not reply let alone acknowledge receipt of whatever you eventually mailed her. the important thing is that contact had been made. you now have an opening for when you go up to her during the tea break and breezily begin to chat her, and her legion of friends, up. thus were many inter-school friendships started.

4. so now you have wheedled, bribed, begged, blackmailed and back stabbed ur way onto the official list as well as all 5 unofficial lists of club members going on this trip. on Friday evening after Preps, u then go through ur wrdrobe to find your bestest Uniform shirt, the one you save for days such as these, oh drat it needs to be washed! so soak it in Omo for half an hour while you go off to Kiwanuka House for a spot of post-prep fantasizing about what you're gonna do tomorrow. when you return you'll wash your shirt, iron ur pants till the pleats can slice timber and spit polish your shoes (black of course) to within an inch of their lives. no white socks were allowed, if you ever, ever wore white socks.... shame on you!

5. saturday morning bright and early, while the early birds are heading off to class for a spot of reading you're ironing to a crisp the shirt you washed last night. if anyone wants to know, in Kakooza we hung our shirts up on the ceiling beams, no reason for tellin you that, just thought you might wanna know. so while everyone else was getting their housework in, you were taking a long leisurely bath and preening yourself like a peacock. it is a fallacy that men do not have lotions and moisturisers and mirrors and tweezers and what not. we did, we just did not keep them in our suitcases, they were like in Lourdel and Mugwanya - those tutti frutti houses.

6. now comes the most interesting display of class-ism that i ever witnessed in school. having by various paths and methods made one's way to the environs of the school gate by 8:30am for a 9:00 departure, one generally lolled about practising one's poker face for the walk up the driveway of the girl's school.

8:45 - you heard the deep throaty growl of the truck starting up in the backyard of the Brothers's Residence.
8:50 - the truck pulls up outside the main gate. suprememly confident in the belief that you're on the List, you step through the gate to the Other Side
8:55 - the Club Patron instructs the Club Secretary to read out loud the contents of the hallowed List. poker faces abound all round, silence reigns. with supreme gravity, the Secretary starts reading out loud
8:58 - bingo! you're number 12 on the list, not as high up as you'd have wanted but who's complaining, you're on! bugger to anyone who comes after you.

as the names were read out, one generally made one's way onto the flatbed of the milk truck with as much grace as one could muster trying to clamber onto a truck, there would be a hand up from the guy standing at the very edge of the truck - usually one of the "IT" crowd. see that's where the class-ism came in, if u were cool you got to stand at the back of the truck, being buffeted by tailwinds and pointed at by idle villagers. if u were not, u moved down to the front, right behind the driver's cab. if u were working at being cool or fancied urself as such or whatever rocked ur boat, u stood along the sides of the truck. if you didnt give a toss either way or just wanted not to end up smelling like everyone else because of all the squashing up, u stood in the middle - my personal favourite. there was an art to carrying on a converation and staying upright without recourse to physical support from the roll bars while the driver pretended to be Nigel Mansell in the Sahara section of the Paris-Dakar rally.

such fond memories i have of going places in that truck! the trips were often more interesting than the actual purpose of the trips, what with the ribald revelry that was such a central part of it, the jokes, the disses, the systematic shattering and grinding into dirt of over inflated egos high on a cocktail of "she hugged n pecked me!" plus the ubiquitous shots of something surpassing 40% alcoholic content that someone (usually from Mugwanya) had found a way of purchasing, even in the prissy environs of a village like Namagunga.

so does anyone know if SMACK now has a functional swimming pool?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good piece. Certainly brought back those good memories.

Fri Mar 03, 04:59:00 pm  
Blogger ish said...

wow, i now understand what preeced and followed the letters we got from boys in the afore mentioned single-sex school we'd neither met nor even heard of!

Sat Mar 04, 03:25:00 am  
Blogger baz said...

Lmaolsohard! You don't realise how great those days were until they are gone. I, too, paid for that swimming pool. Glory days.

By the way, you mentioned Bruce Springsteen in an earlier post, Degstar. Can we talk business? send me an email

Mon Mar 06, 11:04:00 am  
Blogger Carlo said...

i could come up with my own version of how the Sunsas thingies went but they'd just be too much alike i'd be accused of plagiarism! oh how glorious the days. i actually missed them when i left!

Mon Mar 06, 01:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well after the milk track came the Airforce 1 aka the airbus 1 aka scandenevia express!! the most memorable trip on it was when it took us to Budo for a rugby game!! They had no idea what hit them!!! One comment from the Budo admirers went "Ohh..SMACK has a beautiful bus and the guys aint small at all, shall we manage them this time?" True, they didn't manage us that day and it was all celebrations when we returned to the great school!! and who did I hear say " school they have never had of"? I would say to them " Read the papers"...

Tue Mar 07, 12:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And there was the time we arrived in style in the AIRFORCE 1 (The Bus).. chauffered by none other than BROTHER AGABA himself when he was Headmaster!! He was all dressed up complete in a Black Suit..all the girls were asking, 'Your Bus Driver wears a Suit?'

Tue Mar 07, 01:33:00 pm  
Blogger Degstar said...

The Hotstepper drove y'all to a function! damn, thats something memorable!

Wed Mar 08, 01:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Orunyanguu said...

that milk truck almost brings tears of nolstagia to my eyes. There was this one time we (class of '96) came back from Nabinoonya after a farelwell party with Gungas' (which is another storro altogether), and some chaps were literary being supported horizontally. You can imagine the commotion as these chaps are being lowered from the truck, while some of us are forming a human shield around, all because Hotstepper, Kigozi, Kasinga are all standing around the truck with torches... SMACK RAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Fri Mar 10, 04:53:00 pm  
Blogger Iwaya said...

is it too late for me to warn you? please, please, please don't give him that Springsteen. ernest, i mean. please... we'll never hear the end of this if he gets his hands on it, just when the office had quietened down. do this for mankind and preventing a homicide.

and yes, now i know why i never got on the bus...

Sun Mar 12, 10:36:00 am  
Anonymous Rugi said...

you forgot
9:00 Thoses that grassed being on the list hang onto the gate man's shed for dear life, too affraid to meet the gleers and laughs from the HSC block, some ducking past the chaple, round the dinning to the basket ball court, to play in full "clean " uniform all day till the bus came back Beano, Oluba feel me
9:05 As the Bus made it's slow decent to wards the main road, those that never made it on the list, no dime for contribution, and no gungas cousins worth mention, and yet believed in the notion never say die, ambushed it like Kony rebels either behind the main hall or that ka bend near the farm and dearingly jumped on. Kasiita,Kagumya, Fraksy your for world

Tue Mar 14, 08:28:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A literary masterpiece ! Nostalgic nonetheless - Mburo, Gungas and more, it all seems just like yesterday.

Thu Mar 16, 02:58:00 pm  
Blogger Lovely Amphibian said...

wipe that smirk off ya face.

Mon Mar 20, 08:59:00 pm  

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